Southern Players Struggle to Move on at Wimbledon

June 24, 2008 02:43 PM

Going into Wimbledon, six Southern Section players in the Men’s and Women’s draw were looking to play well and advance in the major grass court tournament. The majority of the Southern players struggled in early play. After a disappointing first round, only Bobby Reynolds remains in London.

Bobby Reynolds’ first round opponent was Italy’s Filippo Volandri. Bobby Reynolds looked sharp, going up 6-2, 6-2 before Volandri retired from the match. Reynolds did well when serving, winning 89% of the points when connecting on his first serve. Reynolds was also successful against Volandri’s serve, breaking him twice in both sets. In the second round Reynolds will face Canada’s Frank Dancevic.

Robby Ginepri had a tough first round match up with Chili’s Fernando Gonzalez. Gonzalez knocked Ginepri out of last year’s Wimbledon and the French Open a few weeks ago. Although Ginepri kept the match close, he still could not find an answer for Gonzalez. Ginepri was successful in winning 67% of points when coming to the net, but giving up late breaks in both the second and third set caused him to lose 6-7(3), 5-7, 5-7.

John Isner also played a very tough match with Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis. Isner was broken early and found himself down two sets. After the early breaks, Isner was dominant on his serve, firing 32 aces. Isner was also successful 74% of the time he came to the net. His serve allowed him to get back into the match, but Isner had trouble gaining break opportunities on Gulbis’ serve and would end up losing 5-7, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-7(6).

Donald Young took the court in the first round against fellow American Jesse Levine. Young looked good in the first set, but failed to keep the momentum the entire match. Only winning 51% of the points off his first serve, Young was broken 9 times. It was a disappointing finish for Young; as he went on to lose 6-4, 2-6, 3-6, 4-6.

Ashley Harkleroad began play on the Women’s side of the draw against France’s Amelie Mauresmo. Harkleroad was never able to really get going with her serve. She only won 47% of the points off her first serve. Harkleroad ended up losing to the former Wimbledon Champion 4-6, 3-6.

July Ditty was the last Southern player to compete in the first round. Her match with Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky did not go as she had hoped. Ditty only had 10 winners in the match, compared to Bacsinszky’s 30. For the second straight year, Ditty could not get out of the first round, losing 5-7, 3-6.